What is a research project?

A research project is a set of activities intended to address a novel scientific question or develop a method. We categorize these activities into four major categories:

  • Ideas and notes: This includes all conceptual aspect of your project, including project plans, meeting discussions, readings, periodical experimental summaries. Use these to build the overall narrative of your story.
  • Experiments: This is your lab notebook, which consists of a series of experiments each containing (i) a detailed protocol, (ii) results, and (iii) analysis
  • Deliverables: This includes things like reports, manuscripts, talks, posters, patent applications that are generated during the course of the project.
  • Meta-data: This includes all the project management tools you use to keep the project organized, such as inventory, to-do lists, and schedules.

In the following sections we will outline our suggestions for how each of these categories should be organized. You are strongly encouraged to follow this.